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China's 2020 crude imports rise 7% to 10.9 mil b/d, Dec inflow falls to 27-month low

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China's 2020 crude imports rise 7% to 10.9 mil b/d, Dec inflow falls to 27-month low

Singapore — China's crude imports fell to a 27-month low of 9.096 million b/d or 38.47 million mt in December, but total imports over 2020 were up 7% year on year at 10.86 million b/d, General Administration of Customs data released Jan. 14 showed.

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The last time monthly imports were lower was in September 2018 at 9.092 million b/d, GAC data showed.

The 15.4% year-on-year fall in December crude imports was sharper than expected, with analysts pointing to a shortage of crude import quotas and destocking activity as the key reasons for the decline.

As a result, the country's year-on-year growth in crude oil imports over January-December narrowed to 7% from 9.2% over January-November.

The GAC releases data in metric tons, which S&P Global Platts converts to barrels using a 7.33 conversion factor.

On a metric tons basis, crude imports in 2020 rose 7.3% year on year to 542.39 million mt.

China's oil product exports, on the other hand, rebounded by 19.2% from November to 5.9 million mt in December, despite posting a 13.1% year-on-year fall.

This brought total oil product exports over 2020 to 61.83 million mt, down 7.5% year on year, as the pandemic weighed on overseas demand.

Meanwhile, China imported 2.18 million mt of oil products in December, up 6.2% from November, while its imports over January-December fell 7.2% on the year to 28.35 million mt.

The country's net oil product exports over 2020 fell 7.7% year on year to 33.48 million mt.

CHINA'S PRELIMINARY IMPORT, EXPORT DATA

(Unit: million mt)

Dec-20
Dec-19
% chg
Nov-20
% chg
Crude imports
38.47
45.48
-15.4%
45.36
-15.2%
Oil product imports
2.18
3.31
-34.3%
2.04
6.4%
Oil product exports
5.90
6.79
-13.1%
4.95
19.2%
Net oil prod exports
3.73
3.47
7.2%
2.91
28.2%

Jan-Dec 2020
Jan-Dec 2019
% chg
Crude imports
542.39
505.68
7.3%
Oil product imports
28.35
30.56
-7.2%
Oil product exports
61.83
66.85
-7.5%
Net oil prod exports
33.48
36.29
-7.7%

Source: China's General Administration of Customs